In 1898, H.G Wells published a novel named War of the Worlds. At the time, Charles Darwin had just recently thought up the theory of evolution. The novel shows that theory when showing how the Martians die of tiny bacteria. H.G Wells uses many different atmospheres in the novel, one such atmosphere being the tension and fear he creates.
In extract 1, the Martians come to Earth and land in the space pods. Here, a lot of tension is created as the readers are getting impatient because they want to know what is in the pod. To do this, the writer uses personification in some parts. For example, when the Martian reveals itself, H.G Wells describes its likeness to “a bear”. The behaviour of the crowd after the Martian reveals itself changes from curious, to terrified as they see what horrors are in the space capsule. The writer also uses his senses to create tension, such as when he says “I heard a loud shriek”. This gives not only the impression of a horrific creature, but that the writer was also there at the time.
In extract 2, the Martians attack the humans in London with deadly devices that fire out highly intense heat rays. The atmosphere in this extract changes suddenly from fast paced and scared, to slow paced and relieved. The way the writer does this is by having a lot of action packed into the first 7 paragraphs, but then in the final paragraph of the extract, there isn’t any action, just the writer recalling what had happened. During the action, when the writer is in the river Thames and being scalded by the intense heat of the heat rays on the water, he uses his senses yet again to say what is happening and how he feels. For example when he says “half blinded, agonised, I staggered through the leaping, hissing water”. This is also a good use of personification as he makes out that the water is alive and “leaping” around.
Extract 3 is used to describe the death of the Martians and support Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. The atmosphere in this final extract is more of a relieved and victorious one. He shows this by mentioning he is not scared, but exhilarated. For example he says “I felt no fear, only a wild, trembling exhilaration”. The extract does however start with a tense and scary atmosphere.
It shortly afterwards turns into the triumphant one as we and the writer find out that the Martians are finally dead. The reason they die makes reference to the theory of evolution because the idea is that humans have evolved to be immune to most bacteria home to earth, whereas the Martians haven’t evolved to be immunised against these bacteria. This is a bit of dramatic irony as the Martians are so much more powerful than humans, yet they are easily destroyed by microscopic germs and bacteria. When the writer puts the word “dead!” in such italics and using exclamation marks shows the excitement of the writer at the fact they are actually dead and destroyed.
In conclusion, I believe that the time the novel was released was a great time to release it due to the theory of evolution being thought of. It’s fairly obvious the novel is still appealing to some audiences because there has been a motion picture of the novel made aswell as another copy of the book itself. The remake of the book was brought out in 1957, the height of the cold war. It shows the threat between certain countries and shows that there country could be invaded or come under nuclear attack at any time. The film “War of the Worlds” was released in 2002, during the invasion of Iraq, representing how it would feel to be invaded by foreigners.
For the reasons stated above, I believe that the novel “War of the Worlds by H.G Wells, will always be popular as a novel and as a motion picture.